nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2023‒01‒30
thirteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Two Birds with One Stone: Technology Adoption and Market Participation through Protection against Crop Failure By Wouter Zant
  2. Conditional Cash Transfers in Resource-poor Environments: Evidence from the Philippine 4Ps By Yee, Sherryl A.; Abrigo, Michael R.M.; Astilla-Magoncia, Danika; Tam, Zhandra C.
  3. The links between catastrophic health expenditures and multidimensional poverty: An instrumental variable analysis in India By Pinilla-Roncancio, M; Amaya-Lara, J. L.; Cedeño-Ocampo, G.; Rodríguez-Lesmes, P; Sepúlveda, C.
  4. Firms, Informality and Institutions. The case of Colombia By Fernández, C
  5. Climate change and women’s voice and agency beyond the household: Insights from India By Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Raghunathan, Kalyani; Kosec, Katrina
  6. Gender implications of agricultural commercialization in Africa: Evidence from farm households in Ethiopia and Nigeria By Berhane, Guush; Abay, Mehari Hiluf; Seymour, Greg
  7. Comparing delivery channels to promote nutrition-sensitive agriculture: A cluster-randomized controlled trial in Bangladesh By Ahmed, Akhter; Coleman, Fiona; Hoddinott, John F.; Menon, Purnima; Parvin, Aklima; Pereira, Audrey; Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Roy, Shalini
  8. Seed certification and maize, rice and cowpea productivity in Nigeria: An insight based on nationally representative farm household data and seed company location data By Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Abdoulaye, Tahirou; Andam, Kwaw S.; Edeh, Hyacinth O.; Fasoranti, Adetunji; Haile, Beliyou; Kumar, P. Lava; Nwagboso, Chibuzo; Ragasa, Catherine; Spielman, David J.; Wossen, Tesfamichael
  9. How Foreign Aid Affects Migration: Quantifying Transmission Channels By Léa Marchal; Claire Naiditch; Betül Simsek
  10. RAIL STATIONS TO DEVELOPMENT: EVIDENCE FROM COLONIAL MALAYA By Yit Wey Liew; Muhammad Habibur Rahman; Audrey Kim Lan Siah
  11. How High Can You Climb? Earnings Inequality and Intragenerational Earnings Mobility in a Developing Country: Evidence from Thai Tax Returns By Athiphat Muthitacharoen; Trongwut Burong
  12. Present bias predicts low adoption of profitable technologies: The case of livestock vaccination in northern Laos By Christian Creed; Paulo Santos
  13. Natural resource management and nutrition outcomes: an evaluation of fisheries decentralization in Laos By Benjamin Chipperfield; Paulo Santos

  1. By: Wouter Zant (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Most sub-Sahara African agriculture is rainfed and the key production risk is crop failure due to drought or insufficient rains. Major strategies for households to protect against the risk of crop failure are livestock rearing and storage of home produced food. Next to drought, SSA agriculture is characterized by low productivity and limited market participation, issues commonly addressed by promoting use of fertilizer and high-yielding varieties, and cultivation of high-return crops. For several reasons it is likely that protection against crop failure supports adoption of technology and cultivation of high-return crops. Against this background we explore empirically the relationship between technology adoption and market participation on the one hand and start-of-season stocks of staple food and livestock on the other hand, on the basis of 3 rounds of LSMS-ISA household survey data for Malawi (IHS-3, 4 and 5), and a panel version of these data (IHPS). We find statistically significant positive coefficients of maize stocks and livestock on technology adoption and market participation. Data and estimations support a model of developing country agriculture with seasonality, shocks and savings. In terms of policy the results suggest that supporting livestock rearing and food storage at the household level increases labour productivity in agriculture.
    Keywords: risk, savings, technology adoption, market participation, sub-Sahara Africa
    JEL: O13 O16 O33 Q12 Q16
    Date: 2022–12–15
  2. By: Yee, Sherryl A.; Abrigo, Michael R.M.; Astilla-Magoncia, Danika; Tam, Zhandra C.
    Abstract: This study provides new evidence of the heterogeneous impact of the Philippines’ conditional cash transfer (CCT) program designed to improve human capital investments among children from poor households. Using a regression discontinuity design, the moderation analysis shows that the distance to and quality of education and health facilities matter in child schooling and vaccination behaviors. Conditional cash transfers provide some, but incomplete, protective effects against the adverse influence of suboptimal facility conditions on these child outcomes. The study also documents no crowding out effects from some elective affirmative actions directed toward CCT beneficiaries. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: conditional cash transfer;4Ps;education;health;impact evaluation
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Pinilla-Roncancio, M; Amaya-Lara, J. L.; Cedeño-Ocampo, G.; Rodríguez-Lesmes, P; Sepúlveda, C.
    Abstract: The relationship between multidimensional poverty and catastrophic health expenditures has not been studied in detail, specifically how dependent such a connection is according to the specific context. This study aims to determine whether households who face catastrophic health expenditures in India have a higher probability of living in multidimensional poverty, given their socio-economic background and the protection provided by access to health insurance. We explore such a relationship in the case of India, exploiting variation in the development level of its regions and the socio-economic conditions faced conditional on caste. Using data from the Indian Human Development Survey, we exploit longitudinal variation at the household level using a linear probability model. We complement this analysis with an instrumental variable analysis, using a health shock to analyse the causal relationship between facing a shock which increases catastrophic health expenditures and living in multidimensional poverty. The results revealed that households facing catastrophic health expenditures in India have a higher probability of being multidimensionally poor. Such a relationship was only partially mitigated if the household was protected by health insurance, and there were almost no differences according to the caste of the household. Moreover, the relationship was stronger outside South India, especially on the role of health insurance. and place of residence. In the case of the instrumental variable analysis, the results show the same pattern as in the longitudinal model; however, the results are not significant.
    Keywords: Catastrophic Health Expenditures;Multidimensional Poverty; India; Instrumental Variables
    JEL: D14 I3 I15
    Date: 2022–12–12
  4. By: Fernández, C
    Abstract: This paper illustrates how two well indented policies to reduce informality as the income tax waiver for small firms, and the income tax deduction of labor cost, end up generating a large amount of small firms hiring workers without a formal contract. This paper also shows the difficulties to reduce informality amidst the complex regulatory environment of Colombia. Policies oriented to reduce labor informality have a limited impact and are costly from the fiscal point of view, policies oriented to reduce business informality are more effective, but does not necessarily reduce labor informality if they are directed towards low productivity firms, because such firms do not have incentives to hire formally. The methodology used to illustrate these facts was the estimation of Ulyssea (2018) for the case of Colombia with the mentioned institutional constraints and a minimum wage. The data base used compiles most of the firm information available in the country (Fernández, 2021).
    Keywords: Informality, Firm informality, Business informality, Informal labor market, Taxonomy of informality, Policy recommendations for informality
    JEL: D22 D58 E24 J21 J46 O17
    Date: 2022–12–13
  5. By: Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Raghunathan, Kalyani; Kosec, Katrina
    Abstract: Women’s Voice & Agency beyond the household (VABH) has increasingly been recognized as critical to strengthening resilience, increasing women’s access to important resources, improving women’s decision-making power, and facilitating broader social networks (Njuki et al. 2022). Despite rapidly intensifying climate change in recent years, a knowledge gap persists as to how climate change may affect women’s VABH in developing countries. This has been particularly challenging in countries like India, which host one of the largest numbers of the poor and has been increasingly plagued by droughts, floods, cyclones, rising temperatures, and increasing rainfall fluctuations. This study provides a conceptual discussion on the linkages between climate change and VABH and analyzes their empirical relationship using multiple rounds of nationwide household data from India (India Human Development Survey 2005, 2012; World Values Survey 2001, 2006, 2012); climate data; and data on women’s political representation at the district level. Our results suggest that in rural parts of India, adverse climate change and natural disasters, such as cyclones and/or floods, have consistently negative associations with a broad range of VABH-related outcomes. Moreover, in rural areas, greater political representation by women in district assemblies broadly mitigates the potential effects of adverse climate change on VABH-related outcomes. These patterns generally hold across various populations, differentiated by marriage status and age groups, and are more robust in rural compared to urban areas. There are also generally consistent gender differences in these associations. Specifically, results indicate that women’s VABH are disproportionately more negatively affected by adverse CC than men’s VABH, while greater female representation at local district assemblies has greater effects in mitigating adverse CC on VABH among women than men. The results underscore the importance of enhancing women’s political representation as a means to improve women’s VABH.
    Keywords: INDIA, SOUTH ASIA, ASIA, climate change, climatic data, cyclones, data analysis, decision making, developing countries, drought, extreme weather events, gender, gender analysis, gender equality, gender equity in access to land, global warming, household, economic resources, flooding, men, natural disasters, politics, political systems, poverty alleviation, rain, resilience, role of women, rural areas, social networks, social protection, social structure, storms, women's empowerment, voice, weather hazards, women, Women’s Voice & Agency beyond the household (VABH)
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Berhane, Guush; Abay, Mehari Hiluf; Seymour, Greg
    Abstract: Agricultural commercialization is often pursued as an important driver of agricultural transformation in low-income countries. However, the implications it can have on gendered outcomes are less understood. While agricultural commercialization creates opportunities to increase income, this may come at the expense of change in women’s decision-making agency and control over resources. Understanding the interactions between agricultural commercialization and gender outcomes is thus critical for policymakers aspiring to achieve agricultural transformation while promoting gender equity and the evidence on the links between the two in the context of Africa is scarce and mixed. We use three rounds of Ethiopia’s and Nigeria’s LSMS-ISA panel data to understand the implications of agricultural commercialization to gendered decision-making on crop harvest use, marketing, revenue control, asset ownership, and intrahousehold budget allocation. Results indicate commercialization is associated with decreases in women’s participation in decision-making related to use of harvest, crop marketing, and control over revenue in Ethiopia, but only on harvest use and control over revenue in Nigeria. The association with land ownership is mixed: positive in Ethiopia but negative in Nigeria. Moreover, commercialization is associated with decreases in women’s share of farm-workload but with increases in share of hired labor in Ethiopia. In Ethiopia we also find women’s control over revenue is positively associated with increases in per capita consumption expenditures and dietary diversity, but men’s control is negatively associated with increases in the share of expenditure on children’s shoes and clothes. In Nigeria, women’s control is positively associated with increases in the share of expenditure on women’s shoes and clothes, food gap, and dietary diversity. In sum, we find suggestive evidence that commercialization may further marginalize women’s decision-making agency in Ethiopia and Nigeria. However, conditional on women’s control over proceeds, commercialization tends to improve women’s as well as other members’ welfare. We provide some policy recommendations and directions for future research.
    Keywords: ETHIOPIA, EAST AFRICA, NIGERIA, WEST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, gender, women, agriculture, commercialization, income, farmers, households, agricultural commercialization, income control
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Ahmed, Akhter; Coleman, Fiona; Hoddinott, John F.; Menon, Purnima; Parvin, Aklima; Pereira, Audrey; Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Roy, Shalini
    Abstract: We use a randomized controlled trial in rural Bangladesh to compare two models of delivering nutrition content jointly to husbands and wives: deploying female nutrition workers versus mostly male agriculture extension workers. Both approaches increased nutrition knowledge of men and women, household and individual diet quality, and women’s empowerment. Intervention effects on agriculture and nutrition knowledge, agricultural production diversity, dietary diversity, women’s empowerment, and gender parity do not significantly differ between models where nutrition workers versus agriculture extension workers provide the training. The exception is in an attitudes score, where results indicate same-sex agents may affect scores differently than opposite-sex agents. Our results suggest opposite-sex agents may not necessarily be less effective in providing training. In South Asia, where agricultural extension systems and the pipeline to those systems are male-dominated, training men to deliver nutrition messages may offer a temporary solution to the shortage of female extension workers and offer opportunities to scale promote nutrition-sensitive agriculture.
    Keywords: BANGLADESH, SOUTH ASIA, ASIA, agriculture, agricultural workers, diet, dietary diversity, diet quality, households, gender, gender analysis, gender norms, gender relations, men, nutrition, nutrition knowledge, nutrition research, rural areas, women, women's empowerment, attitudes score, opposite-sex agents, agricultural production diversity
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Abdoulaye, Tahirou; Andam, Kwaw S.; Edeh, Hyacinth O.; Fasoranti, Adetunji; Haile, Beliyou; Kumar, P. Lava; Nwagboso, Chibuzo; Ragasa, Catherine; Spielman, David J.; Wossen, Tesfamichael
    Abstract: Despite the potential importance of seed quality to agricultural productivity growth, many governments in sub-Saharan Africa lack the capacity to expand quality assurance systems even where there is expressed interest. This study aims to evidence the value of quality assurance systems with an analysis of efforts to produce and distribute certified seed in Nigeria. We assess the associations between quantities of certified seeds produced and spatial variations in production locations proxied by headquarter locations of seed companies producing certified seeds, on the one hand, with spatial variations in the use of certified seed, yields, and output at the farm level, on the other hand. Our analysis covers three crops that are important to food security in Nigeria: maize, rice, and cowpea. Our analysis integrates information on seed quantities produced and locations of seed companies with nationally representative panel data from a survey of farm households and spatially explicit rainfall and temperature data. We find a positive relationship between certified seed production in proximity to farm households and farm-level use of certified seeds, yields, and output, although this effect is diminishing at the margin. These diminishing marginal effects may be partly due to two factors. First, the yield gains from certified seeds tend to vary considerably within each state, suggesting that either quality issues persist in the seed supply chain or farmers are not using complementary inputs or appropriate management techniques when using quality seed. Second, it may be that as certified seed becomes more available to farmers, its use spreads from higher-return farms to lower-return farms, thereby diminishing the gains on the extensive margin. Although more rigorous assessments of causal effects and cost-effectiveness are needed to validate these findings, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that there are diminishing returns to seed quality assurance. Policymakers, regulators, and seed providers may benefit from identifying optimal, crop-specific target quantities or rates for certified seed production rather than aiming for certification of all seed produced in a market.
    Keywords: NIGERIA, WEST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, seed quality, agriculture, agricultural products, agricultural productivity, capacity development, quality assurance, analysis, certified seed, seed, production, yields, input output analysis, inputs, maize, rice, cowpeas, quantity controls, households, rain, rainfall patterns, precipitation, temperature data, geography, marginal analysis, cost effectiveness analysis, government policy, policy innovation, seed quantities
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Léa Marchal (UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Claire Naiditch (LEM - Lille économie management - UMR 9221 - UA - Université d'Artois - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Betül Simsek (University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: This is the first global study that quantifies the transmission channels through which foreign aid impacts migration to donor countries. We estimate a gravity model derived from a RUM model, using OECD data between 2011 and 2019 and an instrumentation strategy. Our identification takes advantage of data on multilateral aid provided by multilateral agencies which is non-donor specific. We find evidence that aid donated by a country increases migration to that country through an information channel. If that channel were the only one at play, a 1% increase in bilateral aid would induce a 0.17% increase in migration. In addition, a 1% increase in multilateral aid reduces migration from the less poor origin countries by 0.05% via a development channel.
    Keywords: Aid, Gravity, Migration
    Date: 2022–11
  10. By: Yit Wey Liew (Monash University); Muhammad Habibur Rahman (Durham University); Audrey Kim Lan Siah (Monash University)
    Abstract: This study examines how the historical rail stations condition long-run development, using Colonial Malaya as a laboratory. Constructing a novel historical data on rail stations, agglomeration centers, tin mines and rubber plantations dated back to a century and matching with contemporary data on economic activity at one-kilometer cell level, we find that the earlier a region obtains rail stations, the higher level of economic activity it performs today due to agglomeration economies. These results hold even in regions that have already abandoned colonial stations. This study signifies the role of investment on transport infrastructure to accelerate local economic activity.
    Date: 2023–01
  11. By: Athiphat Muthitacharoen; Trongwut Burong
    Abstract: This paper investigates inequality and intragenerational economic mobility in a developing country with large inequality. Understanding economic mobility is important because it shapes our perception of inequality. Despite its significance, evidence on intragenerational mobility, especially that based on administrative data, is relatively limited in developing countries. Using Thailand’s tax return data, we study the evolution of earnings inequality, estimate medium-term earnings mobility, and examine the heterogeneity of mobility across age, gender and employment arrangement. Our analysis yields three main findings. First, annual earnings inequality rises during the 2009-2018 period. We find that the inequality is largely permanent, and its increase is primarily driven by top-earnings workers. Second, we find that medium-term mobility follows a Ushaped pattern across the earnings distribution, with extremely high persistence at the top. Our suggestive comparison indicates that Thailand’s earnings mobility is among the lowest in the pool of evidence from both developed and developing countries. Third, there is a considerable heterogeneity in mobility regarding employment arrangement. Workers in less-formal jobs have much lower upward mobility than those in more-formal employment. Our findings also indicate significant heterogeneity in mobility with respect to gender and age. These findings highlight the importance of ensuring that any increase in inequality caused by the Covid-19 crisis does not become permanent, as well as improving access to opportunities for vulnerable workers.
    Keywords: Intragenerational earnings mobility; Inequality
    JEL: D31 D63 H20 J31 J60
    Date: 2023–01
  12. By: Christian Creed (Monash University); Paulo Santos (Monash University)
    Abstract: Can behavioural characteristics explain the low adoption of profitable technologies? We explore this question by quantifying the importance of present bias on the decision to vaccinate cattle against foot-and-mouth disease, a simple and well-known technology that despite its high returns is largely overlooked. Our results show that livestock producers who exhibit a stronger present bias are much less likely to vaccinate their cattle, an effect which is robust to a large set of control variables (including wealth and access to information), larger than the effect of any other observed covariate and robust to plausible assumptions about the importance of unobserved determinants of adoption. We discuss some of the potential implications of these results for the design of vaccine delivery and to other policies that aim to overcome self-control problems.
    Keywords: Technology adoption , vaccination, Foot and Mouth disease, Present bias
    JEL: O10 O13 Q16
    Date: 2023–01
  13. By: Benjamin Chipperfield (Monash University); Paulo Santos (Monash University)
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of Lao PDR’s 2009 policy of fisheries decentralization on the nutritional status of children under 2 years old, using a double robust estimator that combines propensity score and OLS regression. Fisheries decentralization led to important gains in height-for-age in young children living in environments that, due to seasonal absence of local markets, are highly dependent on local natural resources. The analysis of the impact of this policy on older children and on health behaviors that are unlikely to be influenced by natural resource management (vaccination) supports the causal interpretation of these estimates. We identify higher consumption of fish as one mechanism that explains these gains. This change is not accompanied by greater allocation of time to fishing or investment in fishing assets, suggesting that decentralization of fisheries management likely led to better management of the resource, rather than its over-exploitation.
    Keywords: Fisheries decentralization , height-for-age z-score , propensity score, placebo
    JEL: Q22 Q28
    Date: 2023–01

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